formative assessment

42. Evidence collection in the pandemic math classroom

How can math teachers most effectively collect learning evidence during this pandemic? Today we have a satellite round table with five incredible math teachers. I’m your host, Celeste Kirsh, and we are teaching tomorrow. 

In light of this ol’ pandemic that we are rounding one year of teaching through, Justin Medved gathered an array of powerful, thoughtful, and brave math teachers to discuss how they are collecting evidence and observations because, as we know, virtual testing is not quite a reliable measurement of what a student knows or understands. Teachers are needing to rethink, reimagine, and even relinquish their ideas of what math should look like in light of this new paradigm of teaching. 

In this conversation, you will hear from:

  • Justin Medved Director of Learning, Innovation and Technology at The York School.
  • Jennifer Gravel, Senior School Math teacher at Holy Trinity School
  • Holly Jepson Middle & Senior School Math at The Country Day School
  • Esther Lee Middle School Math teacher at Crestwood School
  • Fabio Biagiarelli Middle Years Programme Coordinator at The York School
  • Michael Moore Middle & Senior School Math teacher at Hillfield Strathallan College
  • Robin Johannsen  Math Department Chair  and Senior School MAth teacher  – The York School

All of these educators have important insights and strategies to share about how to make math learning fair, equitable, and best support student growth during this time. So let’s get to it! 

I have a crush on Zaption

I’m taking a break from writing about portfolios for this brief interlude on Zaption.

Zaption Window

This past week in school, my co-teacher and I wanted to have the students watch some clips of the Canada A People’s History documentary. Instead of using my precious time in class for this watching, we flipped the learning for the week, having them watch the vids at home as homework and then we could take the facts, key ideas, and big understandings they gleaned from the clips and pushed their thinking to the next level while together. The whole process was made a bagillion times better because of my new friend, Zaption.

I basically just added the Youtube clip into the Zaption editor and then I could add specific multiple choice questions,  short answer responses, key ideas, and other such goodies right into the clip, so it interrupts the flow and gentle encourages students to actually THINK about what they are watching. It’s an awesome way to ensure your students are not only watching their homework, but also understanding it too.

This is one of the “tours” I created for my class.

Another yummy feature is that you can then get the data from each student viewing, getting a quick snapshot of class understanding.


I imagine you could use Zaption for summative assessment if set up properly, as well as the way I’m currently using it as a form of formative assessment. I’m even wondering if this is something that my students could take ownership of and set up tours of key stories / themes in history, guiding their classmates through their learning and thinking. 

It’s a tasty new tool that I had to plug before we all start planning our next few months of school. Give Zaption a whirl if you include any film watching in your learning!